I could not have made this up even if I wanted to, but when my girlfriend and I were in NY in early September, for a long weekend to catch a few concerts, we were approached by a Headcount.org team member right before the Phantogram show. She explained a little bit about the organization and its goal of registering voters. Even though we were already registered voters we would be eligible for the grand prize of going to Austin City Limits Music Festival on a private jet, VIP tickets, and hotel if we signed up. I forgot about the link for a few days but once back in Florida, I wrapped up my registration and made a small, modest donation. Since I NEVER win anything, I was happy to contribute to a worthy cause and preceded to put the experience in my mental trash can.
A few weeks went by when one Monday afternoon I received a call from Tim Bramlette and Katrina Vassallo of Headcount.org essentially telling me that I had won the grand prize. I literally said, "You're fucking with me!!!"
After a few minutes of chatting with them, I suddenly realized this was for real. The adrenaline pumped through me so fast that I was shaking and tried very hard not to sound like a silly little kid. For a music/concert lover as myself, I could not have asked for a better prize. I think the only thing that could beat this was when I registered to go to the Game of Thrones premiere with Emila Clarke.
On the day of departure, we patiently waited for the private jet to arrive from NY to pick us up. Even to this day, it sounds weird for me to say it out loud, but there it was, pulling feet away from the small terminal. We were immediately greeted by Tim, Andy Bernstein, and the generous charitable contributor that made this possible. We were made to feel like part of the team and everyone was exceptional.
VIP Winners George Skoutelis and Stephanie Guzman
The festival itself was amazing! While exploring the grounds we began realizing how incredible everything was, from the music, food, drinks, and the VIP section was exceptional. People everywhere were remarkably nice!!!
We were fortunate to catch Flora Cash, Guns & Roses, Tame Impala, The Raconteurs, Billie Eilish, and the highlight of the weekend, THE CURE! The whole experience was very surreal to us! To be that close to that many music lovers and experiencing the same feelings is like nothing else to me! The sound from every stage made it feel like you were feet away from the performers no matter how far or close you were. We were lucky and managed to get very close for the Cure and for 2 hours they gave me chills and utter happiness!!!
Guns N' Roses live on night one of Austin City Limits Music Festival
This trip was nothing like I've ever experienced and I am deeply thankful to the team at Headcount.org for giving us the opportunity to experience an amazing time. I felt like I connected with other music fans as well as getting to know them personally which made the adventure that much better. The entire trip, from the moment we stepped onto the private jet to the moment it brought us back home, will always have a special place in my heart and we have Headcount.org and it's contributors to thank!"
Wilbar International team with VIP Winners
*Special thanks to the Cohen family and Wilbar International and Austin City Limits Music Festival for all the support